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Charleston Seminar Exposes Israel Government Purchasing Opportunities

Boeing presents at January 31st seminar

Sixty participants from 32 South Carolina companies learned about selling to Israel’s Ministry of Defense at the January 31st seminar at SCRA in Charleston.  Organized by the American-Israel Chamber of Commerce, SE Region, the event featured a briefing by the Ministry’s procurement team based at their New York mission and included presentations by six of the companies and one-on-one meetings to discuss how to get their products and services to the attention of the buyers.

Israel receives almost $3 billion annually in US foreign aid, and $2.2 billion of this amount is spent on purchases from American companies.  This presents an outstanding opportunity for Southeast companies, and yet just $37 million was procured in 2010 from companies in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

“While not an insignificant number, we can do much more to educate our companies as well as the Israeli procurement officials to stimulate much higher purchases this year and beyond,” said AICC President Tom Glaser.

A highlight of the seminar was the case study of Tognum America which was recently awarded a multi-million dollar contract to assemble the engines for Israel’s Merkava tank at their Aiken County, South Carolina facility.  A third assembly line is being added to handle this important project.  Another South Carolina company, AMBAC, is a supplier of parts for the tank’s engine.

Co-sponsoring the seminar were the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast, the American Israel Educational Institute, Charleston Defense Contractors Association, The InterTech Group, Jack Moore, Charleston Regional Development Authority, Israel Economic Mission, Greater Charleston Chamber of Commerce, Womble Carlyle, SCRA, New Carolina, Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce, and Tognum America.



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